The old man killed by Pang Yuanjun many years ago had also cultivated the Straggling Star Path Toad Method. However, the old man was only at stage 5, yet he already possessed the constitution of a Martial Emperor.
Now, Lu Sheng was at stage 10!
His constitution seemed to be improving wildly at every second. Throughout the brief period of chasing after Pang Yuanjun, his strength had silently increased by one ox’s worth.
When he’d found his path blocked by the huge bear, Lu Sheng felt his temper rising.
He was now capable of utilizing some of his Soil Qi. He released a sliver of it and swiftly nourished this body of his.
Soil Qi was a product of a Void Underworld cultivation method, and it was a Void Underworld cultivation method that specialized in nourishment and evolution. Its nourishing effect far surpassed Yang Essence which Lu Sheng had cultivated before.
He merely released a sliver of it, and he felt as if he had been plunged into a pool of boiling water. His skin, muscles, internal organs, and bones screamed with pain from the heat.
Alongside the surging waves of pain appeared swiftly enlarging scarlet muscles.
The transparent keratinous layer on Lu Sheng’s skin swiftly thickened and toughened.
His lung muscles grew stronger. The structures of his alveoli were rapidly changing with some unprecedented rhythm.
This transformation was extremely mysterious, yet it blended in naturally with the natural laws of this world.
In the short span of a few seconds, the nourishment from the Soil Qi made Lu Sheng swell up like a balloon.
He took a sudden step back, avoiding the black bear’s huge paw. He drew a long breath.
He drew breath with such a force that all the air in the cave seemed to have been sucked away by him in an instant.
Lu Sheng’s upper body swelled like a balloon. However, his lower body remained unchanged. His current appearance was extremely strange.
“Take this! Straggling Star… Blood Jade Dragon!”
Lu Sheng opened his mouth. All the air in his lungs shot out like an air cannon. The airflow condensed into a gray-white air column before him. With a loud sonic boom, it hit the black bear on the chest and gave a sound like an explosion.
Sand and rocks ricocheted around the cave. Gusts of wind danced around wildly. Even rocks the size of human heads were thrown about, crashing into the walls around them.
The air column had erupted too suddenly and strongly. With the shock of the sound wave, the black bear was currently in a stupor. It only had time to muster up half of its power before the air column hit it in the chest.
It did not even have the time to defend itself or manage any defensive moves, for that matter. It could only rely on its thick hide and flesh to block that air blast.
However, this skill was the second most terrifying move of the Straggling Star Path Toad Method. It was initially an aerial attack, but it was currently limited by the narrow cave. The sound wave was concentrated on one point. Even Lu Sheng’s own ears bled, let alone the black bear’s.
The grayish-white air column hit the black bear and sent it flying backward like a cannonball. It crashed heavily into the wall at a bend deep within the cave.
Blood splattered everywhere with the wind. With the walls and floor covered in blood, it resembled the scene of a gory murder.
Lu Sheng sighed slowly. His throat was quickly healing with the nourishment of his Soil Qi. His damaged eardrums were also healed automatically within seconds.
Although this was not his main body, and Soil Qi did not have that much of an effect in this universe, it retained its nourishing and healing properties, which allowed him to regain his peak condition in a dozen breaths.
“It’s over.” Lu Sheng snorted and walked over. After getting accustomed to the darkness, his eyes could finally see the sorry state of the black bear.
Currently, blood was trickling out of the black bear’s orifices. Its eyeballs had exploded, and thick red and yellow goo flowed out of its sockets down its face. Its flesh sagged as if it had no bones at all.
Its huge body which was more than three meters tall was stationary as it was wedged in the wall. He could not pick up its aura. It was clearly dead.
After inspecting the black bear’s body, Lu Sheng continued his pursuit, going deeper into the cave.
The peculiar thing was that he could see mottled colored wall paintings on the walls of the cave scattered along the way as he passed.
Lu Sheng gave these paintings several glances. He could roughly make out that they were depictions of aboriginals with flaming spears in their hands. They were hunting one huge beast after another.
Some of these beasts resembled lions, but they were several times larger than ordinary lions. Some of them resembled bison, but they had six feet.
There was huge monster that resembled a triceratops. That monster was the most ferocious in appearance. It was as huge as a small mountain.
However, the paintings about the killings of these monsters seemed to be missing. Lu Sheng did not see them, but he could see the faint traces of Pang Yuanjun’s footsteps now.
There was a jumble of aura and dust in the cave. Hence, he could not sense if there were any pursuing auras. However, the footprints on the floor were still fresh. They were clearly left here recently.
“You won’t get away!”
With a swift movement, Lu Sheng instantly dashed into the depths of the cave and melted into the darkness in the blink of an eye.
Somewhere extremely deep inside the cave.
Pang Yuanjun kept running ahead wildly. The garment he wore was peculiar. It was sewn together from the feathers of a colorful peacock. As he ran, the feathers on his garment fluttered in the wind.
From afar, it was as if a big colorful bird was on the run.
However, it was this garment of his that enabled him to escape from the terrifying black bear. It’d taken him as its own kind, and he entered the cave safely.
This ancient cave was a ruin he’d stumbled upon unintentionally. The reason they had their gathering nearby was because of this mysterious ruin.
Otherwise, as a Martial Emperor with numerous subordinates, he would not have wasted his time running all over the place and gather once every year.
After running for some time, he noticed that there was no longer any sound behind him for some distance. Pang Yuanjun slightly sighed with relief. He slowed to a stop and rested against the cave wall as he panted.
He had suffered internal injuries just now. Now that he ran all the way without resting, it aggravated his internal injuries. If he did not tend to his internal injuries as quickly as possible, he was worried that there would be some long-lasting consequences.
Pang Yuanjun swiftly produced a ceramic vial from his pocket. He poured out a red pill the size of a dragon eye fruit’s seed. He popped it into his mouth.
“Brother Pang? You’re here?” The Sand King’s voice came from within the darkness.
“…Phew… You guys are here as well?” Pang Yuanjun asked softly as he sighed.
“We’ve been waiting for you for some time now. We’ve found another secret passageway here when you gave us the signal.” Elder Jing Han’s voices came.
“I didn’t bring any of the objects that I’ve prepared beforehand. Have you guys brought any?” Pang Yuanjun quickly asked them.
“We did. It’ll be enough to last the four of us for one week,” the Sand King answered. “However, Brother Pang, where did you cross that fierce man? I don’t think that’s only a peak Martial Emperor. Even with the four of us, we could only manage to run away. This is unbelievable!”
“I have no idea. He came out of nowhere. Forget it, forget about him. If he’s not in here, then everything’s fine. If he’s in here, even with his formidable strength, he’s certainly no match for that black bear guard. Since we’re here now, we should just go in, though it’s earlier than we planned,” Pang Yuanjun suggested.
“You’re right.” The Sand King wanted to say some more, but he suddenly fell to the ground. He stuck his ear to the floor and listened carefully.
There was a faint rumble. The source of the vibration was swiftly closing in on them.
“Oh no! Someone’s coming!”
Pang Yuanjun’s expression changed. He was the first one to charge deeper into the cave. The others followed closely behind him.
When the four of them moved, they immediately heard a faint and deep voice catching up to them from behind.
“Are you running again? Why? Why must you do this? Can’t the three of us be reunited as a happy family? Are fame and benefits so important to you?”
Pang Yuanjun remained silent. He kept running. As for the lunatic behind him, he was sure that he would be able to lose him in this vast ruin. He did not think that he would give chase forever.
The four of them ran wildly. After running for about seven minutes, there was suddenly a bend before them. There was some light in the path ahead.
As they ran, the white light widened and brightened.
“We’re here! Be careful!” The Sand King was the first one to growl. He broke ranks, overtook the others, and leapt into the white light.
The three others followed closely behind him. They leapt and plunged into the light.
However, after a dozen breaths, a specter paused and stood still before the white light. It was Lu Sheng.
Currently, he had some slight changes compared to before. Under the nourishment of the Soil Qi, his constitution improved swiftly again.
His skin was now toned. A white pattern shaped like an eye was on his chest.
The pattern spanned his entire chest. Part of it even extended to his abdomen. It looked extremely peculiar, but it had some faint boundless aboriginal aura as well.
More surprisingly, his short black hair was now flickering with faint blue fluorescent light which looked like stars.
These blue light spots were eye-catching in the dark cave. They added a gorgeous quality to his short hair.
He now had a perfectly sculpted big and tall body. He walked with a cold and composed gait. His bared torso was covered in the peculiar ancient pattern. On top of that, he had his short hair adorned with flickering blue light spots which resembled fluorescent stars.
Currently, Lu Sheng had the appearance of a primordial deity straight out of the legends, powerful and perfect.
He stood before the white light. After getting accustomed to the brightness, he could see what the white light actually was.
It was a narrow cave entrance that was slightly taller than a man and half a meter wide.
He could hear the deafening roar of water beyond it.
Lu Sheng walked forward slowly. He could feel the moisture in the air.
With a hand on the edge of the cave entrance, he poked his head out.
Pure azure skies opened up before him. Below him was a deep valley through which a cold wind blew.
Water gushed forth from the beehive-like openings on the rock face. The streams converged into a silver waterfall which dropped off the cliff.
From Lu Sheng’s vantage point, the lake at the bottom of the valley was only the size of a sesame. He could see a small patch of dark blue into which the waterfall entered.
He looked up and saw a vast expanse of grassy plains in the distance. A winding silver river weaved its way across the terrain.
“Did they jump?” Lu Sheng sneered.
“You can’t run…”
He spread his arms and threw himself into a freefall. He fell silently off the cliff.
His big and tall body grew smaller and smaller, until it almost became the size of the blue spot.